Okay, let’s talk about Star Wars for a minute.
Everything that can be said about the badness of the dialogue and the goodness of the effects and the darkness of the tone has been said already. I want to talk about morality.
History is written by the victors, they say, and as we all know, the rebellion against the Empire was ultimately victorious. But were the Jedi really the benign guardians of peace that the golden light of posterity portrays them as? I have my doubts.
Exhibit A: Obi-Wan Kenobi, that paragon of all that is good in a Jedi. Obi-Wan takes Anakin under his wing and trains him in the ways of the force. When Anakin is a young man, growing strong in the force, he starts having dreams of his mother in great pain. Now, we know that Jedi often see the future in their dreams. So you might think that Obi-Wan would take this seriously. Not so; he disregards the dreams and counsels Anakin to ignore them. Consequently, when Anakin finally goes in search of his mother on Tatooine, she is beyond hope of recovery in the hands of the Sand People, and in his ensuing revenge he takes his first steps toward the Dark Side.
In general, the Jedi cling sanctimoniously to a pathological form of quasi-Buddhist detachment. They aren’t supposed to care about anyone in particular; but they are supposed to care about everyone in general. In practice, this breaks down; the Jedi form attachments left and right, and they especially look out for their own. They also have the strategic acumen of garden snails; but that’s veering into a realm of criticism that has already been done to death.
Anyway, back to Obi-Wan. Jump forward a few years, and Obi-Wan is locked in a duel to the death with his former pupil. He manages to lop off Anakin’s arm and legs, leaving him sliding down a scree slope into a river of lava. Now, by any code of chivalry in the known to man, the honorable thing to do would have been to finish him off, quickly and cleanly. The coup-de-grace is final gesture of respect to a worthy adversary. And Anakin wasn’t just any opponent, he was Obi-Wan’s dearest friend. So what does he do to his friend, this man who was “like a brother” to him? He leaves him mutilated and burning alive, screaming in agony, and he walks away. Are these the actions of a friend? Not in this universe they aren’t.
So what could inspire this heartlessness in our supposedly virtous Jedi knight? Back up a few minutes. Padme has just scampered off her silver boomerang, wearing the flimsiest of miniskirt despite her delicate condition. And who’s standing smugly in the hatch behind her? Our old friend Obi-wan. Now, Lucas will have us believe that he stowed away without her knowledge. But consider the source. After all, it was Obi-Wan’s endebted friends in the New Republic who wrote the history books.
My guess? Obi-Wan had the hots for Padme since the moment he laid eyes on her on Naboo (who wouldn’t?). At some point after she moved to Coruscant, their relationship became more than platonic. We know from the movie that he was in the habit of dropping by while Anakin wasn’t around. I think Anakin’s suspicions were justified, and Obi-Wan’s trip to Mustafa to destroy his “friend” was simply a convenient pretext for getting rid of his competition before Padme found herself trying to explain why the babies looked more like little Kenobis than little Skywalkers.
Unfortunately for Obi-Wan, Padme was overcome by a fatal attack of guilt over her betrayal of Anakin and died in childbirth. Not being a complete cad, Kenobi went to Tatooine to keep an eye on his son. When Luke finally meets him, he tells the young Jedi-to-be a story about how Darth Vader killed his father. Even after the truth comes out, he insists that there is no good at all left in Vader, in an attempt to discourage Luke from seeking to learn the truth from his “father”. He never tells Luke who his real father is. This might have been out of some lingering shred of guilt towards Anakin; but I suspect a more pragmatic reason: child support.